By Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.

The human body is more susceptible to bacterial or viral infections and other ailments from a weak immune system.  A weakened immune system suppresses the protective functions of cell growth, where prescribed and over-the-counter drug sales flourish to produce limited attempts to prolong cell life.

More sadly, medical professionals when prescribing drugs rarely explain how to keep the immune system strong to fight off attacks from common bacterium and viruses.  The body comes equipped to protect itself; however, excessively eating and drinking the wrong things destroy the very thing to keep it healthy.

It has been seven years now since learning how to keep my immune system protected from common cold and flu viruses.  The worst bad habit I have been able to reverse is avoiding the consumption of processed sugary-filled food items.  As a result, my body has regularly become unaffected and immune from annual cold or flu viruses.  Take into account; I used to consume a combination of soda, candy, ice cream and/or a variety of desserts every day. This sort of dietary practice destroys the immune system faster than any other bad thing that you can consume.

Processed sugar reduces the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40% and this immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than 30-minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, eating complex carbohydrates, such as legumes, grain products, vegetables such as green beans, broccoli and spinach have no negative effects on the immune system.

Processed sugar is as bad as alcohol that deprives the body of valuable immune-boosting nutrients. Alcohol is just like processed sugar, which reduces the ability of white cells to kill germs.  Consuming high amounts of either suppresses the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, inhibit the action of killer white cells on cancer cells, and lessen the ability of macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factors.

A number of us have to protect our immune systems by avoiding food allergens.  Some substances that we assume as harmless, such as milk, can be considered as a foreign invader.  Consequently, a battle ensues in the intestinal lining to foreign invaders and too often food allergens damage the intestinal wall, enabling invaders and other potentially toxic substances in the food to get into the bloodstream and make the body feel miserable. This condition is known as the leaky gut syndrome.

Likewise, obesity can lead to a depressed immune system.  Whereas, just like processed sugar, obesity affects the body’s ability for the white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and rush to the site of an infection.  But, it is hard to look at obesity as the bad guy, when if we did not eat so much sugary filled food items we most likely would never suffer overweight circumstances.

Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the SouthlandPartnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.